Sunday 10 June 2012

Arsenal dreaming.......zzzzz...........

I was pleasantly encouraged by a lot that Gazidis said this week, certainly the hints at sorting out the wage structure and working to make financial fair play work have to be positives.  I never cease to be amazed how some fans expect Gazidis, and Wenger for that matter, to reveal all the club's secrets, it is so ludicrous and idiotic to expect this.  These fans would do well to remember that extracting maximum value from player sales revolves around a cunning game of bluff and double bluff, the same is true for buying players, our club officials and manager must not reveal their poker hand, they need to be secretive to to the best possible job for AFC.

Anyway that got be dreaming.  I started thinking of Almunia, Fabianski, Squillaci, Djourou, Denilson, Arshavin, Vela, Bendtner, Park and Chamakh.  That is just for starters, that is 10 players on big wages, they must take up about a quarter of our wage bill between them, somewhere between 20-30million of wages I would guess.  I don't think many fans would argue with clearing out this lot, obviously Almunia has already gone, so that leaves nine to go.  I don't think many could argue with this ten for a variety of reasons, Djourou has never been consistent enough and if the club are being offered what is rumoured, we should bite their arms off.

If some of these players do well at the European Championships, Arshavin, and Bendtner the cases in point, then we could actually extract some decent money for them too, also some of them, such as Carlos Vela, have done very well on their loans and could also attract a decent fee.  Maybe I'm being overly optimistic, but if we could clear out this ten, bring in about 20-30million in transfer fees and clear a massive quarter of our wage bill, then it would be half the job done.  We could then set about strengthening a much leaner squad, the reduction in the wage bill would leave us room to bring in four very highly paid players without even increasing our wage bill!

Obviously clearing out a good chunk of this dross is a big challenge but I have my fingers crossed, a lot also depends on what happens to RVP and Theo, if they do not sign on then they will be sold, of that there can be no doubt, talk of them seeing out their contracts is just brinkmanship to get big transfer fees if needs be.  If Theo and RVP sign on I think we would only need 3 quality additions to be competitive, if not then we would need to replace them and add three to that.  Come on you Gunners!  The window is still young.

Saturday 2 June 2012

RVP: I think we can keep him if ambition is shown

An extremely interesting article has been published in the FT, written by a journalist, Henk Spaan, who reportedly knows RVP well, it highlights several of the key issues surrounding the future of our Dutch talisman.  The big question is how much to read into this piece?   I would say the general theme is worth our attention but some of the smaller details may well be just the author's opinion, and should consequently be taken with a pinch of salt.

"Can the Premier League’s best player fulfil his ambition with Holland – and Arsenal?"

The title tells the reader what the article is about, in simple terms, RVP wants Arsenal to show him they mean business by signing some top class talent this summer and if the club does this, there looks like being a cracking chance of him signing a new contract.  If the club haggle over small amounts of money, do not clear out the squad and bring in the quality, then RVP may well be off and I don't think many fans would hold this against RVP, if the club does not show the required ambition, we want the club to make us competitive again and show this ambition.

"Andrey Arshavin was expensive, inefficient and unpopular in the dressing room, Marouane Chamakh a mistake, Gervinho inadequate for the Premier League. And manager Arsène Wenger’s protection of the young midfielder Aaron Ramsey, with his deficient view of the game and meagre statistics (only two goals and four assists all season), doesn’t help much either."

Arshavin has been a failure and needs to go, we all know this, Chamakh has been a flop, yes.  I would take issue with the Gervinho comment, I think he has what it takes and will come good, many excellent players have taken a season or two to bed down.  The Ramsey comments are also spot on in my eyes, he has been overplayed and the manager has probably got this one slightly wrong in the way he has handled his exposure to the first team.

On the whole it is a very good piece by Spaan and I agree with the general theme, I will not be angry if RVP leaves because the club have not shown ambition.  This is another warning shot across the club's bow, they need to pull their fingers out this summer and money has to be invested, otherwise it could have significant long term effects in terms of keeping the club at the very top of the European and domestic levels.  RVP is hungry for success and if the board show they are also as hungry, I feel there is a good chance he will sign up with us for a few more years.